WISNIEWSKI LOOKS TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITY AT LEFT GUARD
After two clunkers by Isaac Seumalo to start the season, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson decided to make a change at left guard.
Against the Giants, it was Chance Warmack who go the nod. But after the Eagles gave up a sack on the first play of their first two drives, the second for an eight-yard loss that left the Birds with a second and 18 from their own two-yard line, Pederson decided to put in Stefen Wisniewski.
Pederson rotated the two veterans the rest of the game. Wisniewski got 44 snaps, Warmack got 32. Warmack allowed the sacks but did have some good plays, while Wisniewski seemed to have a better overall game.
The Eagle pass protection stabilized as quarterback Carson Wentz ended up going 21 for 31 for 176 yards with a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz. He did not throw an interception while the rushing game accounted for 193 yards on 39 carries and two touchdowns.
Pederson said he was going to continue to look at both guards – Seumalo is still on the bench – and make a decision by Friday on who would get the start.
Pederson did not disclose that information on Friday but it seemed Wisniewski would likely get the nod based on his play against the Giants and his time with the first unit this week.
“Yeah, we’re going to continue to work Isaac (Seumalo) and — or not Isaac, I’m sorry, Wiz (G/C Stefen Wisniewski) and Chance (Warmack) at that position,” Pederson said Wednesday. “And probably have a decision by Friday afternoon.”
Wisniewski seemed to grab the moment last week, finishing every block soundly.
“I definitely wanted to come in and show them what I was capable of,” said Wisniewski, now in his seventh season after previous stints with the Raiders and Jaguars. “I’m excited to be out there, I have a lot of energy and I think that showed up last week.”
Wisniewski talked about playing the with intensity and passion he showed against the Giants, who the Birds defeated 27-24 on a walk-off 61-yard field goal.
“I’ve always tried to play like that,” Wisniewski said. “I learned that from my dad (Leo , four seasons Colts as a NT), and my uncle (Steve, eight-time Pro Bowl guard with the Raiders), who taught me the game, that that’s the best way to play the game…physical and finishing blocks.”
Wisniewski was asked how he is able to be consistant on the field while maintaining a high level of intensity.
“O-line is all about playing with power but power under control,” said Wisniewski, who has started 83 of 96 games since being drafted in the second round by the Raiders out of Penn State. “That’s something you learn on the practice field, and drilling and learning to control yourself. Be explosive but not to lean in and not to get out of control. That’s kind of the art of playing offensive line.”
Wisniewski has played center most of his career, but guard is where he earns his dinner with the Birds. Wisniewski talked about incumbent Jason Kelce, the two-time Pro Bowl snapper with the Eagles.
“Kelce is really, really smart,” Wisniewski said. “I can tell in meetings with him and out on the field he thinks like a coach. That’s the kind of guy you want playing center out there, someoen who thinks kike a coach, who knows the defense and can figure out what they’re doing out there and tell everyone what to do.”
Wisniewski said he and the rest of the team is aware that the Chargers are 0-3 and desperate for a victory.
“We’re expecting them to be hungry,” Wisniewski said. “Kind of the same way we looked at the Giants last week at 0-2. We’ve got to be ready for anything in a situation like that. They are going to do what they have to do in order to pull off a win. We’ll be expecting the unexpected.”
The Chargers can get after the passer. Los Angeles comes into the game with several defensive ends who are putting up numbers including Melvin Ingram who is second in the NFL with 5.5 sacks and Joey Bosa who has 8.5 sacks in his last nine games.
“They’re both really good players, really good pass rushers,” Wisniewski said. “We’ve got really good offensive tackles though, so we think our guys can block anybody. They’ll definitely have to be playing at their best but we think we’ve got guys who can handle any d-ends in the league.”
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